Sagittarius A East

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Chandra X-ray
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Sagittarius A East: A supernova remnant located near the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
(Credit: NASA/Penn State/G.Garmire et al.)

Caption: For the first time, Chandra has resolved the complex structures at the center of our Milky Way galaxy through X-ray observations. In addition to the supermassive black hole, Sgr A*, astronomers have found the remains of a supernova that exploded some 10,000 years ago. The proximity of the supernova known as Sgr A East to the black hole in the galactic center suggests that the explosion may have prevented material from falling into the black hole, thus "starving" the supermassive black hole for a period of time. By studying the association between Sgr A East and Sgr A*, astronomers hope to learn if this is an example of a common relationship between supernovas and black holes throughout the universe.

Scale: Image is 8.4 arcmin on a side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory